PGA, LPGA, Senior Tour, Web.com Tour, NCAA...man, that's a lot of golf!
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- The Curmudgeon
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http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/1560 ... -stock-tip
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday alleged golfer Phil Mickelson made $931,000 after purchasing stock on an insider trading tip from noted sports gambler Billy Walters and then used some of the money to pay back Walters, to whom he allegedly owed money.
As part of the alleged Ill-gotten gains, the SEC is seeking to recoup that money from Mickelson, who was not criminally charged.
The SEC, in its case, said Mickelson spoke with Walters in 2012 about an upcoming spinoff of dairy company Dean Foods. Based on a tip Walters had received, the SEC alleged Walters told Mickelson to buy the stock. Months after buying 240,000 shares, according to a companion criminal case, Mickelson then repaid Walters using the Dean Foods money, the SEC alleged.
Walters was arrested late Wednesday in Las Vegas. He will appear in court Thursday.
In a separate indictment Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan, in conjunction with the SEC and the FBI, alleged that Walters' interaction with former chairman of Dean Foods Thomas Davis allowed him to profit $32 million in stock trading while avoiding losses of $11 million.
Davis, who had business relationships with Walters, allegedly received $1.1 million in loans from Walters that went unpaid. A government source told ABC News that Davis is pleading guilty to charges that, in addition to those handed down to Walters, include perjury and obstruction of justice.
Thomas Melsheimer, the defense attorney for Davis, told ABC News that, unlike Walters, his client is assisting the government in its investigation.
Authorities were tipped off when, they say, Walters made $17.1 million in 2012, by trading on information that Dean Foods would spin off a company called WhiteWave-Alpro. Through their investigation, the authorities revealed that Davis would frequently call Walters after he allegedly received inside information about the company and Walters would then execute trades.
Walters, 69, is widely considered the most successful sports bettor ever in the U.S. He grew up poor in Kentucky, before moving to Las Vegas in 1980. He's parlayed his success betting on sports into the business world. He owns The Walters Group and Nature Development B.V., which counts numerous car dealerships and high-end golf courses as assets.
"Bill Walters is a true American success story, whose extraordinary accomplishments as a lawful sports gambler have been widely recognized and lauded," Walters attorney Barry Berke said in a statement provided to ESPN. "Mr. Walters' renowned work ethic and many other talents also have helped him achieve great success in business, investing and philanthropy. Mr. Walters and his counsel look forward to his day in court where it will be shown that the prosecutors' accusations are based on erroneous assumptions, speculative theories and false finger-pointing."
According to indictments, when the Walters and Davis would discuss Dean Foods, they would refer to the company as "Dallas Cowboys."
Mickelson is also tied to a federal money laundering case, sources told ESPN last year, in which a California man is accused of transferring almost $3 million as part of an illegal gambling operation.
Gregory Silveira of La Quinta pleaded guilty in June to three counts of laundering funds but withdrew his plea in March.
Mickelson has not been charged with a crime and is not under federal investigation in the laundering case.
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